What Can Be Seen of the Woman Who Intends to Marry

Question: If a young man proposes marriage to a young lady is it obligatory that he sees her? Also, is it correct that the young lady uncover her head to show more of her beauty to her proposing fiance? Please benefit us and may Allaah benefit you.

Answer: There is no harm (in the man seeing her), however it is not obligatory. Rather, it is recommended that he sees her and she sees him, because the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) commanded the one who proposed marriage to look at the woman. This is because that is better for causing agreement and harmony between them. So if she uncovers her face for him, and her hands and her head, there is no harm in that according to the correct opinion. Some of the people of knowledge have said that it is sufficient for her to uncover the face and the two hands. However, the correct opinion is that there is no harm in him seeing her head, face, hands and feet, based upon the mentioned hadeeth (above). However, this is not permissible with him being alone with her. Rather, her father, or brother, or someone else must be with them. This is because the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "A man must never be alone with a woman unless there is someone who is a Mahram with them." (Agreed upon in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim.) He (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) also said, "A man must never be alone with a woman, for verily the Satan is their third." (At-Tirmithee and Ahmad)